BEN WHITTAKER could become the latest name to join the growing list of fighters to box in Saudi Arabia.

Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, is believed to be a fan of the British light-heavyweight. Boxxer, who currently promote Whittaker, have not been involved with the boxing boom in the Middle East which has seen the likes of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder fight there in recent months.

Whittaker returns to the ring on June 15 against Nigerian Ezra Arenyeka. Their 10-round contest takes place outdoors at Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace FC, on a card headlined by the WBO cruiserweight title fight between Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe.

At yesterday’s press conference, Boxing News asked Whittaker if we might see him fight in Saudi Arabia one day.

“100 per cent,” he enthused.

“I think that’s where the big-time boxing is going now. And [with] big-time boxing you got to mention my name. I’m only seven fights in but I bring a lot of razzmatazz. It’s what people want to see especially out in Saudi. [It’s] something that we can definitely see in the near future but for now [I’ve] got to focus on what’s next.”

What’s next is a challenge against a fellow unbeaten 175lb fighter who is loud, brash, in your face and confident. During a press conference for Whittaker’s last fight – against Leon Willings – Arenyeka interrupted proceedings, calling out the “The Surgeon” while making to look a name for himself. He now has the chance to cause one of the biggest upsets of the year. So, why did Whittaker agree to the fight?

“The [WBA Gold] belt is there. It came with him, and I said, ‘why not.’ He came into the press conference, saw his opportunity. I’m going to show why he shouldn’t do that again.”